J is for Jazz

As Ira Gershwin said, in the line quoted in every obituary: ‘I never knew how good our songs were until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them.’

I decided that I don’t REALLY want to explain what jazz is, mostly because it’s too difficult. You can read all about it on the page dedicated to Ken Burns’ Jazz, the third in his trilogy of documentary miniseries about Americana, along with the Civil War and baseball. The Wikipedia reads: “Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in black communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions… As the music has developed and spread around the world it has drawn on many different national, regional and local musical cultures giving rise, since its early 20th century American beginnings, to many distinctive styles.”

This level of cultural integration is evident as musicians of different races often played together Continue reading “J is for Jazz”